Author: David Christopher Lane Publisher: Alt.religion.eckankar Publication date: 1996
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.
Steve R. writes: "Are you finally saying that you take responsibility for what you have written?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: I take my responsiblity very seriously. Why else would I read every post on this group? Why else respond to you, even when you send me a repost. You see, Steve, I have always taken responsibility for what I have written. I have been sued by Eckankar, robbed by J.R., and received hundreds of death threats throughout the years. Why? Because I was willing to put MY name behind what I stated. I was willing, in other words, to take full-on absuse. But I am a funny guy, since I actually like the intellectual give and take. Steve R. writes: "Well which was it "Gail Atkinson" or "Mrs. Paul Twitchell" on the death certificate? We now have two conflicting reports. One of you has to be inaccurate." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry to face you on this, Steve, but the death certificate actually lists both. [Just a piece of advice, why don't you actually read the thing yourself instead of relying on me or Daniel?]. Want a copy? I will give you one for free. Here is what it states: Surviving Spouse: Gail Atkinson Informant: Mrs. Paul Twitchell Hope that helps. ---------------------------- Steve R. writes: Will you also take responsibility for the ways in which people use and misuse your report? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Hmm, that's a bit funny. Given that logic, then Eckankar should be held ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for the several suicides that have been done by Eckists. So given your logic, Eckankar should be held accountable for the misuse of their teachings, huh? That way, they should pay out millions to all those divorced couples who claim that Eckankar drove a wedge in their marriages. Steve, do you really want to say such silly things? I can only take responsibilit for WHAT I have written. I am sorry but who knows what spin-doctoring people can do to anything...... Remember Charly Manson and the Beatles White Album? Oh yea, Lennon should be held accountable for the murders of Sharon Tate.......... ---------- Steve Writes: "But he doesn't claim to be an historian. He was a spiritual leader. You take any inaccuracy in anything you can dig up that was ever written about Paul and ascribe it to lying. Where is the accuracy in that?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Lying? Hmm, I wonder what Gail would think it was when Paul said he was just turning 40, not 50+. I wonder what his high school teachers would think when he stated that he was 15 when he graduated, but was really 18+. I wonder what the Vairagi Masters would think when Twitchell uses their name as an after-effect (first it is Kirpal Singh who appeared to Twitchell and prompted the TIGER'S FANG then it is Rebazar Tarzs). I wonder what Johnson would think of it when he saw Twitchell's plagiarism? Well, I do know what Kirpal Singh thought of it: too much lying! I am sorry that you hold me--a teacher, writer, surfer--to a higher standard than you do your own Spiritual Founder. But keep me to a high and exacting standard. I like it. My only advice is that you raise your standard for gurus a bit higher. Steve R. writes: "Try being truthful to yourself. Admit that you do not know how to conduct valid research. Look at your methods, man. The flaws are huge!" DAVID LANE WRITES: Well, I point to four lines of evidence about Twitchell's birthdate (death certificate, Jack Jarvis' article, Brad Steiger, and Twitchell himself) and you question my methods. All are PRO-Eckankar. Your alternative is a typo....... Hmmmm...... Steve R. writes: "The difference is in the goals and the vision of each. You do not demonstrate the least concept of what Paul Twitchell was really about. Paul claimed to be able to assist people in their search for Self Realization and God Realization. A few weeks ago over 6000 people gathered in Minneapolis who agree that he was pretty good at this." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I am sure you are aware of critical thinking and logic classes. Appealing to numbers is no measure of factualness. Given that criterion, then Elvis really does live on Venus. I bet you there are more than 10,000 who believe that! You like Eckankar. That's fine. I just wrote a rip of it. You just ripped me. It's called interchange of ideas. Steve R. writes: "You claim to know what was going on inside Paul Twitchell's head and heart. I cannot think of a more false claim." DAVID LANE replies: No, you have done that to me several times (re-read your posts). What I have stated about Paul's motives has a link to either his own writings (see what he says about Gail and the financial reasons for Eckankar) or to other documents. Steve R writes: "With all of those revisions and the thing still reads like a sophmore term paper. Did you actually have a PhD during some of these years. After all these revisions I had to come along and show that your first chapter doesn't hold water. Your only defense of it required you to hunt for more questionable examples. This is not legitimatly conducted research." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I have given you a point by point reply which shows that your typo defense does not hold water. You have mentioned that you won't download that post. You have not demonstrated anything in your critique that has substance. All you have done is demonstrated your unwilingness to look at the documents for yourself. I am glad that you mentioned that my book reads like a term paper, because in truth that is when it was started and written. Amazing, isn't to think that a 20 year old at CSUN in 1978 could have such an effect on thousands of Eckists? Amazing, is it not that Eckankar would ask for its destruction? And even more amazing that it has emerged as the single most cited source for Eckankar's history in publications world-wide (part of it has been translated in German and Swedish)? I only touched a tip of a huge iceberg and I know it. Yet, even as limited as it is, I have conclusively shown the following: plagiarism cover-up and deceit Legitimately conducted research? Hmm, like typos? Better talk to Harold Klemp about it, as well. He uses me as a source. Steve R. writes: "That plie keeps getting deeper." DAVID LANE WRITES: Yes, it does Steve. When are you going to dig yourself out? Steve R. Writes: "You still don't get it. None of your evidence points to lying. At the most we have carelessness and a tendency to embellish. When Paul's relatives are wrong they have made a simple mistake of memory. When Brad Steiger is wrong or the typist at the morgue, Paul is lying. Please, how stupid do you think your readers are?" DAVID LANE WRITES: What is there to "get", Steve? Carelessness and a tendency to embellish? I took Twitchell's own words and records and demonstrated his duplicity. I can't help it that you don't like it. The documents say it. Typist at the morgue? Steiger is his official biographer and it is still being sold! Geez, just take the knife of scrutiny and use it on Eckankar. That's all. Concerning stupidity, it is a subject you may know better. I don't want to sink into an ad hoc attack on you, since you really have done me a great favor. thank you. Steve Writes: "Where did Paul Twitchell write about this? Or do you mean that he allowed Brad Steigr or his editor to mess up some dates?" DAVID LANE: Next time I meet with my "official" biographer I will tell him to give me a new time line, invent ages and dates, say I graduated high school at 12, and say I was the greatest surfer on the planet. He might object, but I will say, "Hey, Steve says it's okay. The Twitch did it." I will also make sure to call it my official biography and sell hundreds of thousands of copies of it. Steve R writes: "Nonsense, you take no responsibility for the ways in which people use and misuse your material. Do you have any concept of what I am talking about. It's called ethics. Paul Twitchell could have taught you something about the subject." DAVID LANE replies: I have downloaded this, Steve. Classic! Yea, next time I write a paper I will make sure to plagiarize huge chunks, not cite my sources, and do name replacements in the new edition. That's the ticket, yea I will change my birthdate on my bio blurb and even make dates up about when I graduated high school. I take no responsibility? Were you robbed by John-Roger Hinkins? Do you get hundreds of death threats? Have you been systematically harassed by lawyers for 18 plus years? Give me a break. I have always put my name on what I have written and I have always been willing to engage the to and fro that goes with it. But you seem to think that I have to take responsibility for misinterpretations of my work....... Boy, just think about what you are saying...... Eckankar would sure be in a lot of hot water if that were the case. So the same with the Beatles, the Prince, and Madonna........ --------------------------------- Steve R. writes: "I have always viewed Steiger's book as a "National Enquirer" approach to Paul's life, and not a serious biographical and historical document. It is more like a religious tract than a reference book. Steiger is a popular writer, not an historian, not an academic .I don't expect his writing to be accurate, yet Lane finds dates where there are none and turns this into Paul lying." DAVID LANE REPLIES: So the official biography of Paul Twitchell which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies is from a National Enquirer approach. Moreover, the very text that purports to tell about a unique God-man has lies......... So hold Lane up to a higher standard than your own group? I don't mind the high standard (indeed, raise it even higher), what I find truly ironic is the justification. You don't expect the official biography to be accurate....... Who was Steiger's main squeeze for that book? Paul Twitchell. Bad source, bad book, I guess? Steve R Writes: "I am not an historian of religion and not even an historian of Eckankar. I do however have extensive training in research design and methodology, so I know a poor study when I see one. My only interest here is in demonstrating that the Lane material, which looks so convincing on the surface, lacks the substance to stand up to critical analysis." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Slow down, Steve. All you admitted was that Steiger was of the National Enquirer brand. All you have shown was that you think a "typo" transpired. Sorry to bum you out, but Daniel has tagged you on this one. ----------------------- Steve R. writes: "I have always viewed Steiger's book as a "National Enquirer" approach to Paul's life, and not a serious biographical and historical document. It is more like a religious tract than a reference book. Steiger is a popular writer, not an historian, not an academic .I don't expect his writing to be accurate, yet Lane finds dates where there are none and turns this into Paul lying." DAVID LANE REPLIES: So the official biography of Paul Twitchell which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies is from a National Enquirer approach. Moreover, the very text that purports to tell about a unique God-man has lies......... So hold Lane up to a higher standard than your own group? I don't mind the high standard (indeed, raise it even higher), what I find truly ironic is the justification. You don't expect the official biography to be accurate....... Who was Steiger's main squeeze for that book? Paul Twitchell. Bad source, bad book, I guess? Steve R Writes: "I am not an historian of religion and not even an historian of Eckankar. I do however have extensive training in research design and methodology, so I know a poor study when I see one. My only interest here is in demonstrating that the Lane material, which looks so convincing on the surface, lacks the substance to stand up to critical analysis." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Slow down, Steve. All you admitted was that Steiger was of the National Enquirer brand. All you have shown was that you think a "typo" transpired. Sorry to bum you out, but Daniel has tagged you on this one. ------------ Steve R. Writes: "Patricia, While I agree with you that, even if everything David Lane says were true (and it is not), it would not make one iota's difference to the spiritual experiences I have had in Eckankar. Nevertheless, what the Lane material does do, and what even David Lane will not accept responsibility for, is lead to views such as Mr. James (Zuma), here. The highest ethics that I know of state that the one thing that you can do that is "wrong" is to interfere in the spiritual path of another. This is what Dr. Lane has been doing for almost 20 years and Mr. James is prima facia evidence of it. Steve" DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Steve, I think you got it backwards. All I have done is at the very the least given would-be followers (and current followers) the opportunity to read more (instead of less) information about their founder. I think the more information we have the better. Eckankar thinks the less information you have the better. (Why else ask for the work to be destroyed?) Just another philosophical observation: Is Eckankar's "Truth" so weak that a term paper can cause thousands to doubt it? Geez, relax, the more scrutiny the better. If something is TRUE it will survive some doubting. Gravity doesn't go away just because I doubt it. ------------ Bruce Writes: "We were talking about Lane's penchant for disavowing himself of his leadership responsibilities by disparaging himself, etc. Paul Twitchell knew he was a leader and presented himself accordingly. Lane is taking the easy way out by claiming to be no leader at all. Another armchair quarterback?" DAVID LANE RESPONDS: Easy way out? To be legally harassed for years? To get hundreds of death threats? To be robbed by John-Roger Hinkins? I have simply stated my position, I have put my name on the line and I have engaged in the debate. I don't claim to be a guru. Twitchell did. I have no desire for such things. I have taken the responsibility for WHAT i have written and I shall continue to do so. Outside of that, I will leave the guru claiming to others. Armchair quarterback? Hmm, i would like to see Gross get into this newsgroup and respond to his critics......... BRUCE WRITES: "Id want to see a little respect and due credit for what Paulji accomplished as a leader. It is needed to give context to all the nitpicking and fault-finding. How can people pretend that Lane's findings somehow wipe out all the value of what he accomplished?" DAVID LANE WRITES: Well, I am sure there are already lots of books that have done it. How many Eckankar books are there? How many are positive about Twitchell? How many full books are there that are negative on Twitchell? hmm, I can think of one. I think Twitchell deserves to get ripped. I don't mind it, and I am an "armchair" quarterback. I think "God-man" can take a little heat. Or doesn't he want people to know that he lied about his age when graduating high school? I wonder if he did graduate high school at 22 (given Klemp's timeline).....? BRUCE WRITES: "Paulji did not ask to be worshipped; he doesn't deserve to be demonized either." DAVID LANE WRITES: Nobody called him a demon, but amusingly enough Eckankar sent out a world wide memo out about me being part of the "KAL" forces. I said he was a liar. He was. ----------------- Tommy writes: David, *which* highschool? The first or the second that he "polished off?" And, just what does "polished off" mean, anyhow? Some sort of exotic cleaning tecnique? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Tilgman High School. Murray refers to a college; he then went on to Western Kentucky. Tommy Writes: Ok Dave, even *you* should know better than this. WHICH MOM??!? Are you refering to the "Mom" who raised him? The one who resented his very presence? Or, possibly, could you be refering to his biological "Mom," who had concieved him on a riverboat, and with whom his father was still in contact. I think you know which Mom I'm talking about here. The one who died when Paul was FIFTEEN. DAVID LANE REPLIES: You better read IN MY SOUL I AM FREE again. On page 40 it tells you exactly which mother: "EFFIE," Pop said in a sad whisper. "We're all here." What were they doing? Sitting around her death bed. Read it for yourself...... Sorry to face you on this. Tommy Writes: "Which Mom?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Effie Troutman Twitchell Tommy Writes: Which Mom? DAVID LANE REPLIES: Effie Troutman Twitchell. Geez, read the book yourself you will see. Tommy Wites: "Which Sudar Singh?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Finally a good question. Yea, which Sudar Singh. I sure would like to know. But for a brief answer, Steiger says it was the one who taught Twitchell much of what constitutes Eckankar. Tommy Writes: "Which Mom?" DAVID LANE RESPONDS: Efffie Troutman Twitchell. Read the book! Tommy Writes: "Which Mom?" DAVID LANE RESPONDS: Effie Troutman Twitchell. Hey, what are we doing mantra work here? Tommy Writes: "Dave, your juxtoposition of Paul's two Mom's cannot be trusted." DAVID LANE RESPONDS: Sorry Tommy but Steiger clearly states which mother died. Try reading the book for yourself and don't rely on me. Tommy Writes: "Are you going to reveal your secrets?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yea, I make a mean potato(e? in memory of Dan Qualye) soup! Tommy Writes: "Which mother?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Effie Troutman Twitchell. P.S. I like your name Tommy. Whose your mother? just teasing! --------------- Bruce writes: "Fall or no, there is still a positive legacy. Your "so it should be" is puzzling. Why do you feel that way?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Good question. My sense of things is that we should hold gurus accountable at the very least to their own self-made criteria. If Twitchell said he plagiarized, and lied, and invented and said that THIS was his method--he was invoking a kinda of Da Free John crazy wisdom approach--then of course his followers would know exactly what they were getting into. He did not, as any close reading of his own criteria indicates. In a simple way, we can compare Twitchell to his OWN model. Therefore, I happened to be biased towards a unification of theory/praxis. Or, if I say this, then I act this. In Twitchell's case, I have not found this to be true. Just look at what is now being stated (privately in the discourses) about Twitchell's relationship with Kirpal Singh. Do you really think there are "forged" documents by the Kirpal Singh camp to connect Twitchell with them? Don't forget, Twitchell wrote an article entitled THE GOD EATERS wherein he states that Kirpal Singh was the basis for THE TIGER'S FANG. It is this sort of funky revisionism and duplicity that makes me call Twitchell into question. Bruce writes: "Many effective leaders are bullshitters. If you want to get from A to B they can sometimes trick you into getting there." DAVID LANE REPLIES: You are quite correct. But I see no problem in calling them bullshitters. BRUCE WRITES: "I seem to take writers more seriously and gurus less seriously than you do." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I understand, but perhaps it is best to take both of them more seriously. Bruce writes: "It seems to me that you disparage yourself when there is a possibility that you'll be taken seriously." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I disparage myself in a light-hearted way, not because I don't take my research seriously or my effect seriously (I do), but because I know that name-calling and the like on this Newsgroup can turn out to be ugly and endless. I try to be as polite as possible, if sometimes ironic and tongue and cheek. Forgive me for recalling a fond memory (and I may have told this before, so I apologize): The reason I call myself a schmuck (though, I have never called myself a "schmuck savant"--that's Steve's creative contribution) is due to surf terminology. We don't use it in its Yiddish way (penis), but rather in a humanizing and grounding way. Like saying, I am just human. I remember fondly when I first used it publicly. I was at a question and answer period in India with Charan Singh and I was supposed to relay a message from Sant Darshan Singh to him directly. But due to my shyness in my interview with the late Charan Singh I couldn't say it. So feeling guilty I told him the next day what Darshan Singh said (it was very sweet and very touching). I said I felt like a schmuck and felt shy about telling him something so beautiful. That's the history of my usage. I can tell you that hundreds of people were literally aghast that I could say such a word, especially my Indian and Jewish friends. But he merely chuckled. Okay, back to the critique. BRUCE WRITES: "I guess if you want to learn about integrity, that is a good criterion for choosing a leader. But I doubt that having integrity automatically makes someone an effective leader. Leadership as a quality seems to be value-free; some of the greatest leaders in history have been despicable. The point I am trying to make is that leadership is an important quality. Sometimes leaders have to lie in order to lead. The degree which integrity is important is the degree to which a leader controls the tangible, material aspects of a person's life. Eckankar does not do so to a large degree, relative to other religions." DAVID LANE REPLIES: I think integrity is all the more important in groups which claim to have access to higher states of consciousness which are not readily apparent to the common man or woman. If we can trust them here and they display honesty here, then it is much more likely that we can trust them in those inner regions. I have a bias towards empirical honesty among gurus; that way we may be able to trust them more fully on the internal voyage of light and sound. BRUCE WRITES: "If you're ever in Detroit, try Vernor's; you can't even inhale within three inches of the glass!" DAVID LANE REPLIES: I like it. Sounds nectar. Thank you, Bruce, for your reasoned response. --------------- Steve R. writes: "Are you finally saying that you take responsibility for what you have written?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: I take my responsiblity very seriously. Why else would I read every post on this group? Why else respond to you, even when you send me a repost. You see, Steve, I have always taken responsibility for what I have written. I have been sued by Eckankar, robbed by J.R., and received hundreds of death threats throughout the years. Why? Because I was willing to put MY name behind what I stated. I was willing, in other words, to take full-on absuse. But I am a funny guy, since I actually like the intellectual give and take. Steve R. writes: "Well which was it "Gail Atkinson" or "Mrs. Paul Twitchell" on the death certificate? We now have two conflicting reports. One of you has to be inaccurate." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Sorry to face you on this, Steve, but the death certificate actually lists both. [Just a piece of advice, why don't you actually read the thing yourself instead of relying on me or Daniel?]. Want a copy? I will give you one for free. Here is what it states: Surviving Spouse: Gail Atkinson Informant: Mrs. Paul Twitchell Hope that helps. ------------------------------------ Joseph P writes: "You already blew it. Any discussion of documents limits the discussion to issues of insignificance to the experiential reality of Spirit ... as you have yourself admitted in a previous post!" DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, Joseph that is not what I stated. Comparing Twitchell's plagiarized passages to other passages in other books is called "textual" comparison. That's it. Joseph P writes: "I am referring to your discussion of what your tripartite structure for resolving what you call the intellectual triangle. In this tripartite structure there are three levels which I call simply lower middle and upper. You have associated these levels with various qualities as follows: Upper: context, comprehension, complexity, inflation Middle: text, apprehension, phenomenology, relation, Lower: pretext, prehension, reductionism, deflation, For your first illustration of this tripartite structure you suggest that we consider the book. You write: Now if i wanted to know the "meaning" of the book, if i wanted to "apprehend" its contents, I would read the entire tome. I agree. Understanding of the meaning of a book, of the ideas that the author was trying to convey by the words used, takes place at the middle level, the experiential level of apprehension. But let's say that I wanted to discover what "ultimately" constituted the book. ... I would reduce the book down to its chapter divisions, chapter divisions down to pages, pages down to paragraphs, paragraphs down to sentences, sentences down to words, and, finally, words down to letters. Would I "understand" the meaning of the book if i simply limited my reading to the symbol units themselves? The answer is fairly obvious: no. Again I agree. But this is precisely what you are doing when you focus on the absence of footnotes to passages in books by Paul Twitchell that are identical or highly similar to passages in books by earlier writers. You have descended below the level of meaning to the lower level of pretext since passages may be compared without any understanding of what ideas the words are intended to convey. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Joseph, I deeply appreciate your concerted efforts to draw my other work into this discussion. I think it may prove fruitful. But in the above example you have skipped categories. In trying to ascertain whether or not Twitchell plagiarized is a different issue than trying to ascertain what he "meant" by such plagiarism. Let's start with first things first. We compare texts, even syntax, and we notice a striking similarity between Johnson's THE PATH OF THE MASTERS and Twitchell's THE FAR COUNTRY. We have not collapsed levels, we have simply did a comparative exchange. Now on that level alone we can see that Twitchell plagiarized. But if we were to look to a finer pretextual level (comma usage, verb tense, etc.), it would actually give us a stronger (not a weaker) case for Twitchell's plagiarism. We find, for instance, that Twitchell's appropriation of Johnson has even included using Johnson AND his quotations (like Twitchell's appropriation of both Johnson and his quote of Vivekananda) in one passage after another. Second, if you are now talking about the "meaning" that Twitchell wants from his appropriated passages, you then want to look to a larger context. You would then want to link his plagiarized passages with other material--his use of Scientology buzz terms, his use of Theosophical concepts, etc. That Contextual reading, as you mention, would allow us a better understanding of the various influences. But in both cases, Twitchell's plagiarism is not being doubted. What you are then asking is to what purpose or to what end did he intend to use these appropriated passages? Well, we have several answers right within our own Newsgroup. Just read Kent's essays. He sees Twitchell's wild and varying compilations (and Kent will call a spade a spade and say it is plagiarized--that's not the present issue) as a "creative" synthesis. Yes, I would just happen to call it creative plagiarism. The creative aspect is Contextual; the plagiarism aspect is Textual. Joseph P. writes: "Again I agree, but I also point out that in focusing your attention on the alphabet (which is what you are doing when you compare passages), you are ignoring the level of significance: the level at which the meaning of the work can be apprehended." DAVID LANE RESPONDS: No, I was comparing one text with another text. That is why I could see the plagiarism. The real issue you are raising is one of intentionality. What did Twitchell wish to convey by his plagiarism? I agree that we must look at the larger context--the Scientologist, the Theosophical, the Economic, the Spiritual, the Cultural influences--to rightly appraise the "meaning" of Twitchell's creative purloining. But that does not excuse plagiarism--he clearly did that. All it means is that he plagiarized lots of things for some overall reason and design. So far, so good. But all he had to do was simply cite his sources and quote them properly. Remember, Twitchell knew what plagiarism was when it happened to him. He threatened to sue John-Roger Hinkins over it. Please keep in mind, as well, that J.R. didn't plagiarize as blatantly as Twitchell. So given Twitchell's textual understanding, he was ready to sue J.R. Take that same textual understanding (keeping levels appropriately in tact) and see that Twitchell would have sued himself if he would have been objective about the issue. Joseph P. writes: "By your own standards, when you descend below the level of meaning you lose significance as well." DAVID LANE replies: No, it is the other way around. Remember the text is MORE fundamental--via Wilber's terminology--than the CONTEXT. Take out the plagiarized text and you don't have meaning, you don't have significance. Let me put this bluntly: Take away Julian Johnson's plagiarized passages in THE FAR COUNTRY and Rebazar Tarzs shuts up. Why? Because most of his talking is dialogue cribbed from Johnson. I don't mind talking about meaning and context, but all that has to be grounded first in the text. In other words, if you take away the cribbed passages, you may end up not talking about anything at all, including meaning, since nothing would be there....... Take away atoms, no molecules take away quarks, no atoms take away Johnson, and half of The Far Country disappears -------------------------------------- Steve R Writes: "For someone who claims to be a simple writer, David seems pretty sure of himself here. He claims to be just this lowly "writer" "schmuck" who should not be held to the same standard as a guru like Paul Twitchell." DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, once again Steve that is not what I wrote. I stated that we should hold our gurus accountable to a very high standard because they have put themselves there. I told you and others to hold me to a high standard (indeed, I hope a much higher one than you have shown with Steiger or Twitchell.) What I was simply pointing out was the obvious: I don't claim to be God-Enlightened, but for those that do we should put them through a very close scrutiny. By all means put me through the same scrutiny, if you desire. But comparing me to Jesus is a bit lame, huh? Steve R. writes: "Just a few keystrokes later he proclaims to know what is is within each of us that makes the Spiritual Path work. How does David know this. Notice he doesn't even say "I believe that... " He says "The reason Eckankar..." He claims to know that "Eckankar does not work"." DAVID LANE WRITES: Steve, why do Sikhs see Guru Nanak in meditation, but not the Virgin Mary? Why do Eckists see Rebazar Tarzs, but not Gumby? Well, it seems pretty obvious. Culture flavors the content of our inner experiences. We may in fact see light and hear sound, but how we interpret such seems very culturally bound. The reason I said that Eckankar does NOT work (you could substitute Eckankar with any ism you like, including Sant Mat) is because we already know what is causing inner experiences: You and me. Now if you want to take a neurological bent, you can say that it is the BRAIN. If you want to take an Eckist spin, you can say it is YOUR higher Self. In any case, my whole point was to ground our inner experiences in the very forum that they are taking place: OUR selves. By all means doubt my proclamations. Steve R. writes: "How does David know this truth? Divine inspiration perhaps?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: No, actually something much more mundane. It is called neuroscience. But if you don't like that physiological twist, then just read your own Paul Twitchell who says that the ECK is within YOU. I could say like the Star Wars slogan, "May the Force be With you," but that would be a misreading. Rather, it should be phrased: "The Force is YOU." Steve R. writes: "David tries to avoid the same standards that he tries to hold Paul Twitchell to, yet his claims are equally grandiose. He claims to know what was in Paul Twitchell's heart." DAVID LANE WRITES: No, Steve, I simply know what he has written, printed, and stated in interviews. From that, I have grounded my observations. I have not conjectured from mid-air. I have not speculated on typos when I didn't like what death certificates stated. I have given you quite clearly my lines of reasoning, for better or worse. Steve Writes: "When Brad Steiger is similarly sloppy, David claims this proves that Paul Twitchell was a liar." DAVID LANE replies: No, Steve. We called Twitchell a liar because he changed his birthdate, he covered-up his past associations, he plagiarized, and he played "footsie" (thanks Patricia for the term) with the facts. That's why we said he was a liar. I could care less if he was sloppy. Steve Writes: Whenever anyone who writes about Paul gets careless with their language, David makes it into evidence of Paul's lying. Maybe David's book does prove it. After all, David's research is pretty shoddy itself. Must have been Paul's idea. What, you sayt, he was dead at the time? Well that didn't stop him from lying on his own death certificate. Hey David, here's a new angle for you. Paul's lying is responsible for all your mistakes. You've got a win/win thesis. The more errors you make the more you prove your point. DAVID LANE WRITES: Steve, for all your bantering (which I am still enjoying, by the way), you have not shown me any mistakes. You were faced on the death certificate, you were faced on Steiger, you were faced on Jarvis, you were faced on Twitchell's high school record. You just don't like my interpetations of those said events. Fair enough, but the facts are clear. Steve R. Writes: "When we use the term Eckankar for both the outer organization as well as the inner path that the outer organization teaches about, you and your friends get all bent out of shape. What gives? You don't have any double standards now, do you?" DAVID LANE REPLIES: Steve, I think you are confusing me with somebody. I don't care if you call your group Eckankar, inner or outer. I just happened to have mentioned that the term is of Hindi/Punjabi origin. Ek=1 Onkar=God or Divine, Transcendental Being One God, as some Sikhs like to translate it. Make sure to watch your lumping tendency. If you want to rip me, go right ahead but make certain I stated what you accuse me of. Steve R. writes: Like when Paul's relatives and inlaws give differing birthdates it is only because of faulty memory, but when an incorrect date appears on Paul's death certificate, it must be because he lied. Lied on his own death certificate. Yeah, that's right. DAVID LANE REPLIES: Steve, read the death certificate for yourself since it is apparent you haven't. Read Jarvis' article for yourself. Get Gail's and Paul's marriage certificate for yourself. Go have a talk with Gail. Go talk with Charly Wallace and Ed Pecen. Too bad you can't talk to Dr. Bluth. The family is very clear that Twitchell lied. They even went so far as to have their names cited as sources and were not shy in saying so. It's not my fault that many in Twitchell's family thought he was a liar. It is not my fault that his death certificate states he died at 48, but was much older. It is not my fault that he lied about his age to Steiger and his age when graduating high school. I do know whose fault it is, though: Paul Twitchell's. He left the record, bro. I simply unearthed it and gave my documented interpretation. ------------------------------- Steve R. writes to Sam: "Typical. You cut out part of my post and twist the meaning. Well I'm not surprised. What I said was that the book was not written as a serious biographical and historical document, but as something like a religious pamphlet. There are two parts to the book, a biographical sketch and a Q and A on Eckankar. The book was very important in the early days of Eckankar." DAVID LANE REPLIES: Yes, Steve, IN MY SOUL I AM LYING (oops, IN MY SOUL I AM FREE) was very important in the early days of Eckankar. Very important in convincing naive readers of things that did not happen. ---------------------------------- o STEVE R. WRITES to Sam: "This is the David Lane who claims no responsibility for those who follow him. Is David your guru, Sam?" DAVID LANE replies: No. But Steve you have become my literary agent. Are you going to take responsibility for all the new plagiarisms I have found because of your writings? Are you going to take responsibility for the fact that you have inspired me to write an even longer book on Eckankar? Are you going to take responsiblity for the fact that I have found more lying on Twitchell's part because of your inspiration? You have been the fire I need to write. Keep burning, burning and burning. signed: your fan ---------------------- NATAN WRITES: "Unfortunately, Lane DID NOT FOLLOW Feynman’s ADVICE when writing his books and posts about Eckankar and therefore PEOPLE reading only Lane’s material will be UNINFORMED about OTHER ASPECTS OF ECKANKAR, and thus will NOT be in a good position to JUDGE the validity of Lane’s hypothesis. Lane , by FAILING TO EXPLORE evidence FAVOURING PAUL's stature as a MASTER, or anectdotal evidence that SUPPORTS the existence of ECK MASTERS (and Lane’s work is filled with anecdotal evidence, so obviously he believes very strongly in that), has therefore FAILED in meeting the STATUS required of all TRUE RESEARCHERS." DAVID LANE RESPONDS: Thank you, Nathan, for your note. In the latest printed edition (1993) of MAKING, on the very first page, I have included a paragraph about how Eckankar views my research; it is excerpted from a memo in which Eckankar refers to me as being part of the KAL forces. I also in that same book list over 25 Eckankar books, reference my quotations, and provide Eckankar's view on several subjects, including Harold Klemp's astral plane library explanation for plagiarism, Alan Nichols' explanation for plagiarism, as well as Darwin Gross' views on several of these subjects, including cover-up. Thus, your accusation that people reading my book will be "uninformed" about the other side is literally not true. Moreover, how many Eckankar books list Dave Rife's home page? Or the SCP journal? Or the Making? I don't expect them to do so, but I have very clearly cited Eckankar's position on a number of matters and have given ample leads for any interested to read to follow them up if they so desire. How many references does Twitchell provide for his readers to Julian P. Johnson in his book, THE FAR COUNTRY? Not one, even though 1/2 of the book is cribbed from THE PATH OF THE MASTERS and WITH A GREAT MASTER IN INDIA. Yet in the MAKING I have listed tens of PRO-Eckankar sources and have even cited their contrary positions in my book. It just so happens that I refuted their stated position on a number a points (Twitchell was indeed associated with Kirpal Singh, Twitchell did indeed cover-up his past, Twitchell did indeed plagiarize, etc.). Thus, as I mentioned in a post to Steve R, I take Richard Feynman's injunction quite seriously. That is why I have footnoted, that is why I have on the very first page given Eckankar's OFFICIAL view of my research, that is why I included an extensive bibliography. Think of all those Eckankar books and think to yourself: how many list critical sources of their tradition? The knife of Feynman cuts both ways, and I am quite happy to say that I have used his knife quite often. Has Eckankar? NATHAN WRITES: In a recent quote, Lane said... "It is precisely my NARROW FOCUS that has uncovered Twitchell's duplicity. My NARROW FRAME has allowed me to focus on those areas that most don't have the patience for." By making this statement, Lane has effectively ADMITTED that he is BIASED in his research, because he said he is NOT INTERESTED in revealing ALL THE SIDES to the story, like every legitimate researcher must do. DAVID LANE REPLIES: All sides? Forgive my postmodernism, but such a thing is impossible. What is possible is that a researcher can show you via footnotes, via bibliographies, via citations why he thinks such and such. That way, the interested critic (who may not like the interpretation or who may even question the facts themselves) can then go directly to the records and question/check the issue again. It is called verification. That's what we mean by a researcher trying to minimize his bias; it does not mean that a researcher doesn't have one. I know you may not like to hear this, but everybody is biased. The question is whether or not one can confirm/disconfirm one's observation OUTSIDE of the tainted medium. It is for that reason that science progresses by others "doubting" the results of a particular study. They then go an explore the data themselves. In the MAKING, I list my sources so that you can see for yourself whether or not Twitchell plagiarized or covered-up. Indeed, in several editions of the MAKING i included photo-copies of original documents so that the reader could see my primary sources. That way they could "test" my observations. Now the real problem is not one of bias (that is almost a metaphysic underlying all research), but one of clearing leaving a trail whereby the reader can VERIFY or CHECK what one has stated. I mention several times in the MAKING Eckankar's position against my views. Indeed, I give full citations in some cases, listing dates, letters, and other pertinent information. That way the reader can say, "hey, I don't know if Lane is right, so let ME check." So far, so good. And on that score there are thousands of Eckists and former Eckists who have done their own research by merely following my trail. Has Paul Twitchell provided you with that trail in THE FAR COUNTRY? Has he given us GOOD, SUBSTANTIATED leads on Sudar Singh? (Maybe an address?). The point that I am trying to make is a very rudimentary one: Admitting bias or narrowness is not a revelation; it is a common fact apparent to anyone who has done research. What should be a revelation is footnoting, proper citations, and leads for conter-opinions. Read the very first page of the printed MAKING, read what my citation of Gross' view on Twitchell's past, read my citations of Klemp. All of that is provided so that the interested reader can at least bypass my interpretation (which they may disagree with) and have the opportunity to form their own opinion based upon the TRAIL that I have left. Has Eckankar left such a trail? Do they list Dave Rife's homepage? Don't get me wrong; I don't expect them to do that. But to say that I am somehow misleading Eckists is naive. I list tens of PRO-Eckankar sources in my book and even include their link on my website. Have you seen a reference source given by Eckankar so that interested readers can read more about the MAKING, or Gunnar, or Rife, or SCP? Thus this accusation of bias is misleading. The real question is does the researcher leave a CLEAR trail so that you can "Test" his interpretations. Paul Twitchell, quite clearly, did not. -------------------------------------------- Mark Alexander Writes: What's not to love?
I've been doing the Spiritual Exercises of ECK for almost 20 years now. I have had amazing past-life recall with plenty of independent verification. I have experienced astonishing healings in the presence of others. I have traveled to magnificent places and met spiritual beings with friends. I have had *real* dreams with people who independently remember being present. I have had direct experience with that being called the Mahanta in so many wondrous and startling ways (often in the presence of others who recognized the gift simultaneously) that I have had to give in to the literally miraculous nature of life. I have also experienced what no external authority can verify. It has worked for me and still does...somehow, despite the fact that I acknowledge your data, limited as it is. Your interpretations, ugh. But I still love you. ;-) You are a Rumi and Kabir lover after all. Perhaps some day you will allow yourself to have those *very* real and independently verifiable experiences as well. It's such a lonely universe, otherwise. Love in HU Mark Alexander DAVID LANE REPLIES: I love you too. So much, in fact, that I am willing to have the Wizard kick me even when I am trying to pull away the curtain. signed: Toto, the research dog --------------
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